Sustained ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation, associated with severely depressed left ventricular function after myocardial infarction, carried a poor prognosis. We have used an extensive surgical procedure in 18 patients (15 men and three women) with a mean age of 63 years who had more than three episodes of recurrent, hemodynamically significant ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation and congestive heart failure. The operation consisted of complete myocardial revascularization and myocardial debulking by extensive infarctectomy with unguided endocardial resection and septal isolation with support of the necrotic wall with a Teflon patch. Implantable defibrillator patches were placed in eight patients. Blood cardioplegia and intra-aortic balloon assist (12 patients) were used for perioperative myocardial preservation. Postoperative studies demonstrated a significant increase in ejection fraction (n = 16) and a decline in pulmonary wedge pressure. Hospital mortality was 16% (three patients). Two deaths were due to congestive heart failure and one to arrhythmia. During postoperative electrophysiologic studies, ventricular tachycardia was not inducible in six of eight patients (75%). During a mean follow-up of 24 months, 11 of 15 patients who survived operation are alive and are in New York Heart Association Class I or II. Three of four late deaths were due to congestive heart failure and drug toxicity and one was arrhythmia related. This procedure is effective for preventing recurrent ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation in a majority of patients who cannot have intraoperative mapping.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine